Sitting the Bench

by Charles Feltch

While covering the Homecoming game for WCSU Football, a friend of mine in the stands who’s also a writing major asked me why there are so many players on the sidelines. I said there are more players and positions in football than most sports, and by extension there are more players who have to sit on the bench. My friend asked me why so many guys would put in all that time and work into practice if they’re just going to sit on the bench. I told her to write something about it, and she agreed. But she backed out, so I am taking the task up while she, figuratively, is going to sit on the bench.

The second string players; the backups; the replacements; the benchwarmers. Even if you don’t know sports, there’s a stigma attached to these types of players. What most people don’t know, even most who do know sports, is that these players are just as important as the starters. On any team, the small, weak second stringer who’s giving it their all in practice could be a wake-up call to the starter who’s taking it too easy. The practice team who manages to overcome the starters in practice will help them better prepare for the real thing.

For the ones who are lucky and determined, a benchwarmer can one day be a starter. I don’t even necessarily mean in the sports itself, but in the fields of life beyond a 300 yard piece of turf. Over time, the uniforms, the trophies, and sadly even the memories of sports will fade, while the discipline, the bonds and the spirit of winning will carry on in those who did things right. So while a starter in their prime may run away with the night of the big game, with the crowd chanting their name, a benchwarmer can see that, learn from it, and years later run away with life.

Westconn Dominates & Stirs School Spirit at Homecoming Game

By Lawrence Perry

The WCSU Homecoming game was surprisingly packed. The stadium was filled with supporters yelling like madmen and women. Maybe this is why our home team played so well. Playing against Worcester State, Westconn put up a very good performance.

The first thing of note was a tackle by Mike Quinn. It was still early; the teams were still feeling each other out. After a few minutes of gridlock, Westconn kicked the ball, and Chris Shizaar caught it. Worchester tried to come back, but couldn’t make any traction.

The game started at 6pm. 39 minutes later, Worchester had only scored 3 points. Westconn, meanwhile, already had 14 points. This set the tone for the rest of the night. After a few more plays that went nowhere, including an impressive tackle, the first period ended.

By period two, the crowd was getting into the game. They chanted “Defense!” and “WCSU!” At one point, the score went up to Westconn 35, Worchester 10. A supporter chanted: “Let’s go baby! I see you!”

The rest of the game was a blowout. Though Worchester made some good plays, which earned them 23 points, Westconn won with 49 points.

It was a fun game that even a non-football fan could enjoy. If the goal was to fill students with school spirit, the game succeeded.

Destinee Carey: Evolves Both On and Off the Field

By Dan Dovale

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Western Connecticut State University senior, Destinee Carey,  from New Milford, Connecticut, was born to play and dominate the sports world of Women’s Lacrosse. Carey found her destiny in the fifth grade, “as soon as I started playing, I knew it was something I would continue for a very long time. It became my favorite sport and ultimately the one I chose to pursue.”

This pursuit began with passion, work ethic, and pure will power. Motivated by coaches, parents, and teammates, there is no limitation to Carey’s aspiration. As she has found both personal and team success here at Western Connecticut State University, she has also seen growth in herself while reminiscing back on her high school days.

“The biggest area where I’ve grown is my mentality and attitude,” she said. “With the rise of competition in college, I quickly learned that my mentality will shape my ability to succeed as an athlete. So, I learned to adapt a winning mentality, which has helped me succeed through every good and bad day I experience as an athlete.”

Not only has this growth been a necessity on the field, but maybe even more so, for off the field. The challenges and sacrifices that await a student athlete are often times overlooked and discredited. College itself can create mountains for students to climb in preparation for the next phase of life.

“Often time’s people do not realize that you spend your whole day in classes, go to practice or games, eat and then trying to find time to get all of your work done, is a vicious cycle.” Carey said, “Hard work and time management are the two most important things when it comes to being a student athlete. It’s an adjustment to juggle school and sport but you can make it work and still be successful.”

Although the daily process may get tiring and overwhelming, Carey has not once felt a moment of regret towards any single action that has led her down this path. 

“This whole experience for me has all been worth it. Through it all, every practice, test, game, assignment, I learned something new and being a student athlete has given me the tools needed in order to be successful in life,” Carey confidently explained. “I think this sport has taught me great things, it has shaped me into the person I am today and taught me how to be the best person both on and off the field.”

As she prepares to finish out this last season as a Colonial, she will continue to be appreciative and thankful for this sport and how it has evolved with her, even after she graduates. Moreover, while Carey holds an athletic resume that is bound to stitch her name in WCSU Women’s Lacrosse history, she remains hopeful this is not the end for her athletic career.

As for life after graduation, Carey said she, “hope[s] to become a graduate Assistant Coach somewhere to continue with lacrosse, to help teach and show other players that this sport can bring a lot of great things for them, too.”

From fifth grade to her senior year of college, Carey has pursued her greatest passion and reached levels of success that can only be met through mentality, work ethic, and will as strong as Destinee Carey’s.  From the received enthusiasm on our latest article on Carey, we at the Echo have found it to be clearly evident that this (hopefully soon to be) Assistant Coach has been much loved be the community and will be greatly missed.

Chasing History: Western’s Destinee Destined for Greatness

By Dan Dovale

There’s an aspect of sports that doesn’t receive the same recognition and respect as others do, which is; Women do this too. Men are shown the most love and attention when it comes to athletics, it’s widely more popular and seemingly appreciated.

The Connecticut Lady Huskies have been popular due to being dominant, winning championships and the never before seen 111 game win streak which gained a little bit of everyone’s attention. But how often do we hear about or gain interest in women’s soccer, WNBA, women’s lacrosse, etc. What will cause a change in the eye of the public?

“I think there could always be improvements when it comes to this. I would love for there to be more attention/love for women’s sports, women’s lacrosse and I know that with success this will all come,” Destinee Carey said.

Carey, a senior Women’s Lacrosse player at WCSU is enjoying some success of her own during her college career. Several WCSU WLAX career records are in jeopardy due to Carey’s pursuit. She’s nearing the points (258), goals (205) and free position goals (39) records. She’s within striking distance of each as she’s registered 254 points, 200 goals and 36 free position goals.

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When an athlete finds success in the chase of their dream, many wonder what prior sports figure did they mold their game after, or what role model they looked up to for inspiration which helped influence them in this journey? The expectation is a celebrity, athlete or someone seen on the television while growing up. What’s overlooked is, that person may just be that athletes first love, the love that came before the sport, the love who is her greatest supporter to this day.

“My Father has been my biggest influence both on and off the field,” Carey said. “He’s been my biggest motivator, my biggest fan in all 11 years I’ve played lacrosse and I know without him I wouldn’t be half as successful.”

Since entering the program surpassing these records was a long term goal of Carey’s and as she’s destined to do so, it brings on a, “surreal feeling,” but one that will show, “all this hard work and dedication will truly have paid off,” she said.

Although setting a goal of such high standards, Carey never let it affect or differentiate how she played and approached team success; “I never played with the intentions of breaking records, I played to win games and try to win a championship. Playing for Westerns Women’s Lacrosse we always say ‘play for the girl next to you.’”

Consistency may be the most important attribute in sports and it’s one she has mastered. The consistent improvement in her first three years at WCSU stands out. The jump in goals of 77 in her sophomore year after netting 38 her freshman year, shows she earned that trait. A junior year where she scored 52 goals and was named team offensive player of the year, it just adds to a resume of a special talent.

As she continues to chase down history and is on the verge of passing it, when the time comes, as she’s calling her Dad and expressing the sentiments of feeling “flooded with emotions, honored and privileged.”

It’ll remind her of the first time she put on the Colonial jersey, all the blood, sweat and tears, the sacrifices, going the extra mile while believing in herself and her dreams. And ultimately when she walks off the field for the final time and removes the only collegiate jersey she’s ever worn, she’ll have also accomplished the ultimate goal of, “wanting to make an impact on this program.”

Her name will forever be stitched in Western’s Women’s Lacrosse for her historical achievements and ability to raise the bar within the program. And when all is said and done maybe her impact is much more than just the program at WCSU, but adds a step to the ongoing climb that women’s sports is faced with, in receiving the due they’ve earned and deserve.

Colonials Play Tough But Fall to Mariners

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On the left is the Western Connecticut State University Colonials warming up before there game on Tuesday March 28th.

By: Connor Falaguerra / Sports Editor

After coming off their first victory against Anna Marie, the Western lacrosse team falls to Merchant Marine 14 to 7. Western came out with confidence but with Merchant Marine at a 6-1 record, they couldn’t handle the pressure of Merchant.

The Marines came out fast with a four to nothing lead in the first quarter. But with 10 seconds left Nate Wilson  waited and scored a goal with exactly one second left on the clock.

The Marines extended their lead to 7-3 heading into halftime. Nat Wilson had two goals and Pat Coll of the Mariners had three goals in the first half.

In the third quarter Merchant started on fire extending their lead with four goals. They were leading 11-3. Wilson and Jesse Beatty scored two goals at the end of the third quarter but it wasn’t enough to cut the lead in half, Merchant lead 12-5 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Coll scored two more goals to bring him to five goals for the night. Western scored two more goals but just wasn’t enough in the end. Wilson was the leading scorer for Western with three.

After this loss, the Western Colonials record is now 1-5 for the season. They will try to get back on track when they play their first conference match-up against Salem State on Saturday at Western Connecticut State University on the Westside campus on the WAC at 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Heading To Sunny Florida

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From the Western athletic website.

 

By: Connor Falaguerra
Sports Editor

After going to Virginia for a long weekend the Western Connecticut State University baseball team is heading Florida for spring break. But it isn’t about having a good time —  they have some business they have to take care of.

In their long weekend in Virginia, they went 2-1 playing Marymount college in all three games. Now with some high confidence, they are heading to Fort Myers, Florida for nine straight games from Saturday, March 19 to Thursday, March 24.

They will be playing three doubleheaders. The teams they will be playing Mount Saint Mary’s (New York), Amherst, St. Lawrence, Lasell, Saint John’s (Minnesota), Millikin, Wis.-Platteville, and Wooster.

Last year, Western went to Fort Pierce, Florida and they had a record of 5-4. Western is hoping they would do better than what they did last year.

In one of the games in Virginia, Craig Frobel threw a no-hitter. Frobel only walked one person which made him one walk close to a perfect game. Western is hoping to continue with more wins down in Florida or more no-hitters.

What will the baseball team enjoy the most? Well, it has to be the Florida sun obviously. So they are hoping to take care of business and enjoy the beautiful weather. Good luck to them!

 

Western To Play First Home Game Saturday

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Western Men’s Lacrosse preparing for there first home game on Saturday March, 12th at 12:00 p.m. vs. Scranton

By: Connor Falaguerra
Sports Editor

The Western Connecticut State University men’s lacrosse team is ready for their first home game this season against Scranton University. They are looking to turn their season around after losing to Vassar and Kean the first two games of the season.

Western has lost by a margin of 31 points in their first two games. A lose to Vassar 19-7 and Kean 22-3. Western is looking to get back on track offensively to catch-up to these high scoring teams.

Scranton already has five games under their belt with a 4-1 record. Scranton has scored 46 goals and has only let up 32 goals. Western has let up 41 goals in only two games which doesn’t look good to what Scranton has done defensively.

Nate Wilson is the leading scorer for Western with two goals. But he is also leading the team in turnovers with 14. The turnover battle is an important part of the game which needs to be low in order for Western to win.

Western is hoping to play better this week to get a little winning streak going. The game will be played on the Westside Campus at Western Connecticut State University at 12:00 p.m.

 

 

Softball Season will Start in Georgia

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From the Westerns Athletic Website

By: Connor Falaguerra
Sports Editor

The Western Connecticut State University softball team will be playing in the Lead-Off Classic this year. This tournament will be held in Columbus, GA. This will be a key weekend to show the nation who the Colonials are.

The Western softball team went into the LEC tournament last year as the second seed. They will be trying to chase down their rival Eastern Connecticut State University for the top spot this year. With both Westerns top aces back at pitching and more experience, they have a very high chance of getting the number one spot this year.

Here is there schedule for the 2016 season:

Fri., Mar. 11 vs. Texas Lutheran @ Columbus, GA Lead-Off Classic 12:00 PM
vs. Piedmont @ Columbus, GA Lead-Off Classic 5:00 PM
Sat., Mar. 12 vs. Central (IA) @ Columbus, GA Lead-Off Classic 10:00 AM
vs. TBA @ Columbus, GA Lead-Off Classic 4:30 PM
vs. TBA @ Columbus, GA Lead-Off Classic 7:00 PM
Sun., Mar. 13 vs. TBA @ Columbus, GA Lead-Off Classic TBA
Tue., Mar. 15 vs. Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.) @ at Danbury Sports Dome 4:15 PM
Sat., Mar. 19 vs. Elmhurst @ Clermont, FL 1:00 PM
vs. MIT @ Clermont, FL 3:00 PM
Sun., Mar. 20 vs. Wellesley @ Clermont, FL 9:00 AM
vs. Buffalo St. @ Clermont, FL 11:00 AM
Mon., Mar. 21 vs. Grinnell @ Clermont, FL 9:00 AM
vs. Oswego St. @ Clermont, FL 11:00 AM
Wed., Mar. 23 at Salve Regina 9:00 AM
vs. Wash. & Jeff. @ Clermont, FL 11:00 AM
Thu., Mar. 24 vs. Williams @ Clermont, FL 9:00 AM
vs. Williams @ Clermont, FL 11:00 AM
APRIL
Sat., Apr. 02 Keene St. * 1:00 PM
Keene St. * 3:00 PM
Tue., Apr. 05 Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.) 4:30 PM
Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.) 6:30 PM
Wed., Apr. 06 at Springfield 3:00 PM
at Springfield 5:00 PM
Sat., Apr. 09 at Southern Me. * 12:00 PM
at Southern Me. * 2:00 PM
Sun., Apr. 10 at Trinity (Conn.) 12:00 PM
at Trinity (Conn.) 2:00 PM
Tue., Apr. 12 John Jay 4:30 PM
Sat., Apr. 16 at Plymouth St. * 12:00 PM
at Plymouth St. * 2:00 PM
Tue., Apr. 19 at Eastern Conn. St. * 3:00 PM
at Eastern Conn. St. * 5:00 PM
Sat., Apr. 23 Mass.-Boston * 1:00 PM
Mass.-Boston * 3:00 PM
Tue., Apr. 26 Rhode Island Col. * 5:00 PM
Rhode Island Col. * 7:00 PM
Sat., Apr. 30 Mass.-Dartmouth * 1:00 PM
Mass.-Dartmouth * 3:00 PM
MAY
Sun., May. 01 at Manhattanville 12:00 PM
at Manhattanville 2:00 PM

 

 

Warriors Dominate Colonials

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Taken At the O’Neil on Westside Campus of Western Connecticut State University 

By: Connor Falaguerra
Sports Editor

The Eastern Connecticut State University women’s basketball team came in to the game first in there conference with an 8-2 LEC record and a 16-5 overall record. In this game they weren’t looking back as they just dominated the Colonials throughout the whole game.

The Western Connecticut State University women’s basketball team had the first point of the night when they were up early with a 1-0 lead. But the Warriors went on a 11-0 run and just kept dominating the Colonials inside.

This game meant something to both teams. They are huge rivals trying to show who is the better Connecticut basketball team in the state.

The Warriors were very effective on getting the Colonials off there game. They were able to pass the ball effectively by utilizing the bounce pass. They were able to get a lot of back door passes to get easier baskets.

The Colonials are usually very good at defensive rebounds but the Warriors had two big girls out rebounding the Colonial big girls. Erin Brooks and Lexis Foster both had a combine 12 rebounds, which doesn’t seem like a big number but was key for the Warriors.

Eastern is a very stout defensive team and they didn’t show no signs of slowing down on defense. They were able to get Western to miss some contested shots and get them out of rhythm. Western were taking unnecessary long two’s and three’s when they could of tried to get the ball inside more.

At the start of the second the Warriors had a 17-3 run and they just kept pushing to keep there big lead. The Colonials didn’t give up and they cut the deficit to 14 points but that was all they could of done. The final score was 68-54 Warriors.

Coming in to this game the Colonials were on a five game tear but that came to an end verses the Warriors. The Warriors remain in first place with Keene State jumping ahead of the Colonials to be in second place in the conference. But the Colonials aren’t out of it as they stay in third place for now and are tied with Keene State with an 8-3 record in conference.

On a positive note, Samantha Smith of the Colonials had a fantastic game coming up with five steals. She also lead the team in scoring with 14 points and had five rebounds. She was literally all over the court in this game.

Western Connecticut State University will be playing home against Keene State on Saturday February, 13th at 1:00 p.m. This is another big match-up for the Colonials as they try to take over second place again in the conference.

Western Comes Up Short Against Rivals

 

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Captain Phil Starks catching a pass by teammate against rival Eastern

By: Connor Falaguerra
Sports Editor

In a match up with conference rivals, the Western Connecticut State men’s basketball team couldn’t get a run going to take a lead. There was a lot of shots made by the Colonials but then it was matched by the Warriors.

There was a lot of confidence when the Colonials started fast with a 8-2 lead in the first two minutes of play. But that lead didn’t last long.

The Warriors crept their way back to as they cut the Colonials lead to three as they led 17-14 half way through the first half. But then the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to lead the game 22-17. By the end of the first half the Warriors had a 11 point lead with a score of 41-30.

At the start of the second half the Warriors increased their lead by 17 to make the score 47-30. The Colonials would try to do everything to get something going but the Warriors just answered right back.

For about eight minutes at one point they kept getting closer but never got closer than nine points. Every time there was a thought of the Colonials trying get a run going the Warriors shot it down, literally.

The Warriors finished strong by increasing there lead back up to 17. The Colonials had one of the last shots of the night but the Warriors won 81-66. This means the Warriors swept there rivals for the the season.

Freshman Jauch Green for the Colonials finish with a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Phil Starks was right behind him with 21 points.

The Colonials are in fifth place in the conference with a 6-5 LEC record and a 13-9 overall record. They will be playing Keene State Saturday February 13th at 3:00 p.m. at home. If they win they will jump up to third place in the conference. These games are becoming of importance because of seeding for the conference playoffs coming up in a few weeks.